Tuesday, May 30, 2017

AIDS/LifeCycle 2017 - Preparing for Take-Off

Last June, I drove to Ventura for a candlelight vigil that would ultimately create a domino effect on my life. Surrounded by 2,000 other people, we held a moment of silence for those who lost the fight with HIV and AIDS and reflected on those who were still suffering. 

The next day, Abel, Nelson, and I went to the AIDS/Lifecycle Finish Line Festival to cheer on some of our friends who were finishing a massive feat: 545 miles cycling down the coast of California. While we were there, I impulsively signed up for the 2017 ride, thinking that it would be a great way to follow up another bucket list item: my Ironman. 

Fast forward 12 months, and here we are!

As we wind down the month of May, I can't stop thinking about the ride itself and what it means to me. I remember training so hard for my Ironman race - so much so that I burnt myself out and stopped training for nearly 6 months. I lacked the motivation to want to work out, let alone get on the bike. 

But as the weeks neared, the bike rides increased, and I slowly found my love for cycling again. I was doing 100-mile bike rides on the weekend, and I found solace in the silence of being alone while being with others. It was a lot of soul searching. 

5 more days. 5 more days until we set off on a journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles. 5 more days until I learn what it's like to experience wild temperatures, live out of a bag for 7 days, and 5 more days until I make 2,000 new friends!

I'm scared and nervous and excited. Mostly excited. I'm excited to learn more about myself, but more excited to learn about others - trials, tribulations, and motivations.  

Dropping off our bikes to be shipped to SF!

Everyone rides for a reason. My reason has definitely changed since I signed up, but I truly and honestly believe that everything happens for a reason - whether it be induced (cause and effect) or serendipitous (who knows!).  

It wouldn't be right of me to end this without a fundraising push. Thank you to everyone who got me over the $5,000 mark, and to all my friends who donated to others on my behalf! Every dollar counts :) Donate here - http://www.tofighthiv.org/goto/winja

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